Apple’s Apple TV+ streaming service is set to launch this fall. When it does, it will feature extremely stiff competition from Netflix, Amazon, and Disney’s upcoming Disney+ digital streaming service—not to mention subscription fatigue from consumers. One way Apple intends to win over subscribers is through a host of original content from the likes of Oprah Winfrey and Steven Spielberg.
But Apple’s dream for its fledgling streaming television service goes beyond winning the battle for your living room. The company wants to win Oscars too, according to a report from the New York Post. Specifically, the Post says Apple is planning to finance six original, low-budget films a year that can win prestigious awards:
Hollywood sources say the tech giant has been approaching “elevated” directors and other film talent in recent months to talk about bankrolling projects with Oscar-winning potential.
Apple is looking to spend $5 million to $30 million per project, sources said, adding that the company is being driven by Netflix’s recent spate of Oscar nominations and win for Best Foreign Film with “Roma” — legitimizing Netflix head Reed Hastings’ standing in Hollywood.
“They are taking meetings and hiring,” one agency source said of Apple, adding that the meetings are being generated by the company’s original feature films unit, headed by Matt Dentler, formerly of iTunes Movies.
The source described Apple’s new film ambitions as “Focus Features-esque award contenders,” referring to critically acclaimed movies like “BlacKkKlansman,” “Boy Erased” and “Dallas Buyers Club.”
Films that appear on streaming services are allowed to be eligible for Oscars under Academy rules so long as those films play in a traditional movie theater for at least a limited run during the year. But even if Apple’s streaming service can produce Oscar-nominated films, it might not be enough to convince most consumers to sign up for yet another streaming service considering the competition.
Then again, so much of what Apple TV+ will offer subscribers is still a mystery. Apple hasn’t even announced a price for its streaming service or revealed if it will include a back catalog of third-party films and television shows. Matter of fact, unlike Disney Plus, Apple hasn’t even announced an exact date when its streaming service will launch.